Well, the Populus poll isn’t all good news for the Tories. As James pointed out last night, they have shed another point and Labour have regained some ground. But, as both Peter Riddell and Mike Smithson note, the Tories can still secure an outright majority on the basis of these figures.
The numbers which lead the Times’s frontpage coverage are more encouraging for Cameron & Co. They show that the public are attuned to the Tories’ broad narrative. 73 percent think society is broken; 82 percent think that now is the time for change; and 64 percent believe Britain is heading in the wrong direction. After 13 years in power, Labour cannot credibly represent change; it has to defend its record, which on the evidence of these findings is not something it will manage easily.
So why the tepid support for the Tories themselves? Part of it is down to the general gap between the public and all politicians, from whatever party. For instance, 77 percent say that there are fewer people in public life they admire than there used to be. Cameron has led the parliamentary reform debate; this poll suggests that he will be rewarded electorally if he delivers.